A monthly glimpse into Kirt Jacobs’ stories of inspiring individuals
Though “MoxieTalk” is a modern talk show available across a wide array of media platforms, host Kirt Jacobs has adopted a pretty “old-school” approach to interviewing his guests. Talk show veterans like Dick Cavett, Bob Costas, Merv Griffin and Tavis Smiley have inspired Jacobs to create an intimate environment for his guests to share their life stories on MoxieTalk, a half-hour interview program available online and through podcast as well as broadcast outlets of: MetroTV, WBNA21 and KET.
Lessons from talk show greats
From Cavett’s congeniality to Griffin’s affability, the qualities that made those hosts and their shows legendary “have been the ethos of my development” at the helm of MoxieTalk, Jacobs says. He also found inspiration in the intimacy and thought-provoking questions of shows like “Inside the Actors Studio” and “Charlie Rose.”
Famed sports broadcaster Bob Costas once made this statement which has guided Jacobs in structuring the format of his show: “Any good broadcast, not just an Olympic broadcast, should have texture to it. It should have information, should have some history, should have something that’s offbeat, quirky, humorous, and where called for it, should have journalism, and judiciously it should also have commentary. That’s my ideal.” For Jacobs, this is the essence of what he tries to accomplish with his guest interviews and show.
There’s no “gotcha” journalism or quick-fire questions on MoxieTalk. There’s no studio audience or flashy graphics. Instead, Jacobs takes his cues from the talk show legends to craft questions that take deep dives into the lives, thought processes and inspirations of his guests.
“To learn the essence of why people tick simply fascinates me,” Jacobs says.
Lessons from the greats have helped Jacobs develop a style and format that makes for fruitful interviews with guests that builds on MoxieTalk’s mission: to inspire, educate and engage the human spirit one guest at a time.
Intimate conversations that create great moments
Jacobs forgoes a studio audience in favor of a small set and one-on-one interviews with his guests to create an environment that’s as cozy as a quiet conversation with a family member or friend at the dinner table.
Instead of setting out to capture a guest’s career highlights, Jacobs sits down with guests and gets to know them as real human beings. Jacobs isn’t looking to put guests on the spot in any way — he wants to be respectful to all who accept his invitation to be on his show — but he does encourage guests to speak to challenges they may have faced in their lives, whether it’s a career setback or personal loss. For the most part, however, Jacobs focuses on the “moxie” quality that drives people to do what they do and do it well. This intimate interview style is what helps set Jacobs’ show apart, and he points out that even his more reserved guests embrace the format.
“No matter how introverted an individual may be, everybody wants to tell their story,” Jacobs says. “They may not even know it until they sit in the guest chair.”
The best practices Jacobs has picked up from other talk-show veterans have helped him draw out stories from his guests. He finds that once they realize that MoxieTalk will be different from other interviews, “all that guard and facade often melts away in the first two or three minutes.”
“They engage and sometimes even get emotional,” Jacobs says. “They give you these great moments — and that is when you realize the work (the intimate interview format) is important and has real purpose in today’s sound bite media culture.”
The end result is a slice of history that reveals the human side of notable individuals, whether it’s a Ugandan immigrant who started a cookie business in Louisville or a U.S. senator from Kentucky.
“Once these shows are done, they are done forever,” Jacobs says. “There’s a certain beauty and arc to that. I wish more people would document their lives for future generations, because that’s basically what I’m doing in 30 minutes.”
Discover MoxieTalk today
While the show nods to early television days with its conversational interview format, its reach with audiences is firmly anchored in current times.
“MoxieTalk” is now on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and you can search for previous episodes by category and watch them on the show’s website: moxietalk.com. Some of the episodes are available as podcasts that are accessible through the MoxieTalk website. Jacobs is excited about the podcast format because it “offers a rich experience that allows you to lock into the guest’s words.” He’s always looking at new methods to connect with audiences, so stay tuned for more ways to get your MoxieTalk.
Know of a suitable guest that you feel has Moxie and a story worth sharing? Please e-mail your guest suggestions to: [email protected]